I don’t think its a surprise to a lot of our readers but Wired magazine did a story on the Internet being more popular than cable tv by subscriber count. This does not seem to be distressing to the major cable companies as they are all deeply ingrained with the Internet. The margins for broadband are also greater than they are for cable tv so this is another bonus.
Of course as more people want their entertainment on demand, whenever and wherever it is only logical the Internet will overshadow straight cable viewing. The other thing is the cost, I know Comcast just raised my cable another $10 and I have no idea why the hell I am paying what I am paying. The cost is just not sensible for what I watch and what I don’t watch. Cable companies still resist going to an ala carte model, I have read many articles why they claim they can’t, still people (not myself) who don’t like sports and wish there was no ESPN in their plan, cannot have it their way. So many of those people have found ala carte by spending much less with a few subscriptions. Those who left cable have a Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus monthly bill which is far less than cable. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the long run. It will not be all sunshine for the Internet-based services as the cost to acquire content goes up, these companies are also spending more time and money on their own original programming. Successful original programming not found on the big networks will lead to an even bigger success for these companies as they will control everything from licensing, merchandising, etc…
From the article:
For the first time, the number of broadband subscribers with the major U.S. cable companies exceeded the number of cable subscribers, the Leichtman Research Group reported today. Among other things, these figures suggest the industry is now misnamed. Evidently these are broadband companies that offer cable on the side.
To be sure, the difference is minimal: 49,915,000 broadband subscribers versus 49,910,000 cable subscribers. But even assuming a huge overlap in those numbers from customers who have both, the primacy of broadband demonstrates a shift in consumer priorities. Nearly all the major cable companies added broadband subscribers over the past quarter, for a total of nearly 380,000 new signups. Cable subscribers don’t have to worry about TV as they know it going away any time soon. But cable is on its way to becoming secondary, the “nice to have” compared to the necessity of having broadband access.
Read the full article here